Anchoring the city of Thessaloniki, Aristotelous Square is one of Greece’s most impressive public spaces. Over the decades its crystallised as a cultural hub, hosting everything from festivals and celebrations to protests and political speeches. Today, it’s a fantastic place to people watch, soak up the sun and feed the flocks of pigeons that descend on the square.
Unlike most European plazas, Aristotelous Square boasts fantastic ocean views. It’s perched on the Thermaikos Gulf, and on a clear day, it’s possible to see Mount Olympus in the distance. The square is home to one of the city’s best five-star hotels, a hugely popular cinema and a string of cafes, bars and restaurants.
Local buses service the streets around the square, with taxi stands located on Mitropoleos Street. It’s located just steps from the waterfront and is a short 15-minute stroll to Thessaloniki’s White Tower. From the airport, the drive to Aristotelous Square and the downtown centre takes around 30 minutes.
While Aristotelous Square is one of Greece’s busiest public spaces, it was designed by French architect Ernest Hébrard in 1918. He was commissioned following the Great Fire of 1917, which destroyed two-thirds of the city. Inspired by European plazas, he designed an expansive space lined with imposing buildings. Work began in the 1950s, and today Aristotelous Square is considered a city icon.